Breaking new ground - Prostate, skin and breast cancer pathways


16 November 2018

Breaking new ground: a new prostate cancer diagnosis pathway for members

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with 1 in 8 diagnosed at some point in their lives.1

More often than not, its diagnosis involves taking small samples of tissue for analysis via needle insertion into the prostate gland through the wall of the rectum. This invasive approach can be uncomfortable and, in many cases, unnecessary.   

In light of this, we’re breaking new ground among private healthcare insurers by improving the prostate cancer diagnosis pathway for members. Teaming up with Check4Cancer, a trusted provider of screening and diagnostic cancer services, members with suspected prostate cancer can, from 26 November 2018, undergo a detailed MRI of the prostate BEFORE undergoing a biopsy.

Professor Richard Hindley, one of the panel of expert advisors involved with the design of the pathway, as well as a principle investigator in the PROMIS trial, said: 

"It was a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic and expert team and this is without doubt the first of its kind for men with PMI. Patients will now be directed to see expert Urologists who are able to see patients in a timely manner and provide the highest quality standard of biopsy when required after a multi-parametric MRI.”

The evidence for the new diagnostic pathway was in a large part due to the PROMIS trial which was published in 2017.2 In this study almost 30% of men would have been able to avoid having a biopsy if the scan was normal. Any suspicious areas can then be targeted, thereby maximising the likelihood of making the correct diagnosis. AXA Health’s approach removes the prospect of men having to face the invasive procedure by default at the outset. 

From 26 November 2018, any member that calls us with a GP referral with raised PSA will be given the choice to use this new pathway. 

With Men’s Health Awareness Month well underway why not tap into some of our resources to help you support the promotion of men’s heath within your organisation. 

Get involved this Movember - PDF


Early cancer detection:  New Skin and Breast pathways 

We’re also working with Check4Cancer to fast-track cases where members are concerned about skin or breast cancer. 

From 1 January 2019 onwards3, members who experience signs or symptoms of skin or breast cancer needn’t wait to see their GP – and further still, wait for a GP referral. All they have to do is call us. We’ll arrange for early diagnosis and treatment (if required) from Check4Cancer’s provider experts.  

Sarah Taylor, AXA Health’s Head of Specialist and Practitioner Relations said:

“Not knowing is worrying. Waiting makes it worse. 

“If you’re concerned by prostate, skin or breast cancer the chances are you’ll be relieved to know that you have quick access to diagnosis and medical support, at a time and place that’s convenient to you, should you need it.

“We’re confident that our members will find the options we’re introducing for cancer diagnosis and care reassuring at what can be a troubling time in their lives.” 




The skin and breast cancer pathways are available from 1 January 2019 for insured clients. The pathways will be available for Trust clients following their 2019 renewal. The prostate cancer pathway is available to all AXA Health members from 26 November 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager.